The whole Mizoram celebrates New Year with great splendeur. Like most part of the world, fireworks and crackers used to be a part and parcel of this celebration. A complete change took place in 2009 when the government of Mizoram announced a complete ban on fireworks and crackers. The prohibition has been a complete success since then and now virtually not a sound of crackers nor fireworks can be heard during this time of the year.
Since majority of the population are Christian, most local chruches organize mid-night service. State-funded concerts are organized at different places in Aizawl and all the district headquarters in collaboration with the Young Mizo Association. Top singers and musicians participates in these concerts and entertain the people.
On New Year day, all local churches organise community feast in their respective localities. Every community members participate in the preparation of such grand feast and enjoy the delicacies served there. All big shops, government offices and markets remain closed on this day and the streets were devoid of vehicles.
After completion of the laborious cutting of forest for jhum site, the felled trees and shrubs are left to dry in the sun for burning and this period is called â€˜ Chapcharâ€™. This gives the people a few days of respite during which Chapchar Kut is celebrated with much joy and fanfare. Around this time the cold winter gives way to warm spring which reinvigorates nature and brings freshness to the air and the entire landscape. Dressed in their colorful costumes everyone irrespective of age celebrates the festival with gay abandon.
Department of Art & Culture, Government of Mizoram organizes Chapchar Kut annually. The venue and date has been fixed at first Friday of every March at Assam Rifle Ground also known as Lammual located right at the heart of Aizawl city, the capital of Mizoram. Chapchar Kut is also observed in various remote areas and villages of Mizoram and even outside the state where the Mizo Society thrives.
This festival is observed when the jhums have been cut or cleared in the month of Pamih also known as March. This festival is also known by the name â€˜ PAKHUPI LAâ€™ a name given after a dance form. It is the biggest festival of the Mara tribes living in the Southern part of Mizoram.
This is also a festival of thanksgiving. The house of a wealthy man is selected and the villagers gather for a feast prepared by the women. A pot of rice beer is contributed from each household and a dance called â€˜PAKHUPU LAâ€™ is performed in the fields.
The number of days for celebration of LyuvaÂ Khutla is not fixed as the duration of festivities depends on the number of days the villagers are prepared to contribute food and drinks.
Even today, this festival is celebrated in the beginning of March in Siaha District also known as Maraland. Traditional costumes are adorned on this day and cultural dances are performed by artistes. The people dance to the tune of folk songs and community feasting is observed in the evening.
Anthurium Festival is today the most popular festival celebrated in the state. It is a successful tourism promotion venture of Tourism Department that lasts for three days and is celebrated every year at Tourist Resort Reiek located at Reiek village, a quaint and picturesque village about an hourâ€™s drive from Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram. It is celebrated as a festival amidst nature during the peak season of the beautiful and exotic anthurium blossom. It is a three day extravaganza of culture, music, dance, games, fashion show, handloom & handicrafts exhibition and traditional cuisines. It is set against the majestic lush green backdrop of Reiek Mountain in a kaleidoscope of colorful anthurium flowers.
A brief into the inception of Anthurium Festival is the large scale production of Anthurium Flowers by the womenfolk of the Mizos. It is under the ambit of Horticulture Department, Govt. of Mizoram that led to the popularity of Anthurium flowers. It was an initiative to help support housewives to become indepent of their financial resources. It instantly gained popularity and eventually led them into the export business. The cut flowers are of the highest standards as compared to the rest of the country. Thus came the emergence of Zo Anthurium Growers Society in Mizoram. These cut flowers are exported to various parts of the country and even abroad. Tourism Department in collaboration with Horticulture Department to recognize and popularize it decided to celebrate Anthurium Festival. Anthurium festival has been celebrated since the dawn of 2006.
Winter Festival is an annual three days festival organized by Department of Tourism, Government of Mizoram. The venue for the festival is set at Tuirial Airfield,an abandoned airstrip 21 Kms from the city centre. It is celebrated to showcase the diverse culture and traditions of the Mizos with a host of entertainment. It is usually celebrated during the 2nd last weekend of November.
Winter Festival was originally known as Thalfavang Kut. The origin of Thalfavang Kut reflects the close unit society and deep camaderie that knit the Mizos together wherever they are. Insurgency in the 1960s and 70s in Mizoram dislocated families from their homes, villages and towns. It disrupted education and students had to flee to neighboring states to continue their studies. Having to adjust to cultures completely different, haunted by tragedies back home and visions of lush green hills of their homeland taunted them. Thus, these students gave birth to ThalfavangKut. An annual festival held in their various places of study. They would get together, perform traditional dances, sing folk songs, share their experiences, encourage each other and at the end of the day share a feast.
Today, Winer Festival is celebrated with a plethora of activities, games, music etc. Other activities include exhibition of handlooms and handicrafts, traditional dances and music, performances by well-known artistes and bands, carnivals, local cuisines, etc to name a few. The main highlights of the festival is Hot Air Ballooning and Powered Hang Glider not found anywhere in the north east except Mizoram. The annual MIMSA Motor Sports racing takes place during the festival.
The celebration of Christmas and New Year is much revered in Mizoram and everyone partakes in it. It is the most awaited festival of the Mizos as majority of the population comprises of Christians. The new generation of Mizos are greatly influenced by the Western Culture. Hence, the celebration of Christmas and New Year is as much Westernized as the festivals themselves. In the days or even weeks before Christmas Day many people decorate their homes with lights and Christmas trees. It is now the tradition of almost all localities to decorate their respective streets, lighting up the entire city. It is joyful and thrilling to watch the city decorations as it brings warmth in the hearts of the people. It is time for families and friends to get together and exchange gifts. Free street concerts and carols are part and parcel of the festival. On Christmas Day people throng towards the Church to attend the service. The Church services are lined up with special programmes. It is the tradition of the Church to organize a community feast the next day with menus as lavish as possible. New Year is celebrated on the 1st of January with as much fanfare and fervor as Christmas with community feast being organized by the Church and special services are conducted. All Government offices and shopping establishments are closed on these days as people enjoy the festivities.